Thursday, March 24, 2022

Why a new Titan’s stadium would be a taxpayer-funded boondoggle | Opinion

It doesn’t take an economist to see that undertaking a billion-dollar gamble in the hopes of hosting an event generating a few million dollars in tax revenue is a losing bet.

by Daniel J. Smith, Guest Columnist, The Tennessean, March 21, 2022- Given the higher-than-expected renovation costs of Nissan Stadium, Nashville policymakers are now considering investing potentially a billion or more of taxpayer dollars into a new home for the Titans. The evidence shows that subsidizing a new stadium would be a boondoggle for the Music City.

Stadium subsidies are frequently justified on the grounds that they will have an impact on game day that boosts local employment and economic growth. Stadium supporters in Nashville hope that a new stadium will also attract mega-events such as concerts and even a future Super Bowl.  

While economists are often criticized for having conflicting opinions, they do reach an overwhelming consensus on sports stadiums. Economists have sliced and diced the data every which way, and the results are crystal clear: Claims about the economic impact of stadiums consistently turn out to be empty promises based on misleading assumptions and exaggerations. (Read more of this well-reasoned essay from Daniel J. Smith, director of the Political Economy Research Institute at Middle Tennessee State University.)

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